Friday, October 28, 2005

Quilt Code

I recently ran across an interesting article about quilts. It was about a woman in South Carolina, Ozella Williams, who makes quilts in patterns that (her mother told her) formed a code for navigating out of slavery on the Underground Railroad.

Underground Railway Quilt Code

There is also a book about it, Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, published in 1998. Historians say they have never come across reference to the use of quilts as underground railroad markers, and call it a myth.

I first read about the practice of using quilts in the Underground Railway several years ago in a fiction book, The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini. I thought at the time that it was a neat idea and wondered if it was based on fact, but never got around to looking it up. As it stands now, it is an ongoing controversy, since everyone that might have first hand knowledge of this is now gone. I say fact or myth, it makes a great story.

The quilt pictured was made especially for us by TwoMama, the pattern is Dresden Plate. Wonder what she was trying to tell us...

1 comment:

kata said...

Yup ,I like quilts,too.
I like the one you made that looks like leaves in the fall.
You can use any of my photos,its fine with me.